Blue Rock

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The Kohol'evin (Blue Rock)

Tribal Region/Terrain: Western third of Tyedu, generally found migrating from valley to valley just inside or on the edge of the mountains between the Scales of Mikon and Mikonator Pass.
Tribal Animals: The moose and the wolf are totem animals thought to represent strength and persistence.
Tribal Deity/Deities: Ra-Ghul
Tribal Population/Size: ~1,000 men of fighting age, another 2,000 women, children, and elderly
Tribal Weapons/Armor: Hammers, slings, armor is generally absent
Tribal Alignment: Within one step of Chaotic Neutral

Tribal Organization: The Kohol'evin are a nomadic tribe roaming the western areas of Tyedu. They are part of the Benteak-Kune confederation of tribes, which claim to be descendants of Ra-Ghul, the god of chaotic battle. A long tradition of berserker warriors exists within this tribe, and attributes that enhance a berserker's prowess are valued traits among members of this clan.

Tribal organization is fairly simple. A chieftan chosen by a combination of hereditary inheritance and combat is approved by the people. The chief is advised by the most elderly shaman of the tribe, and the two of them make most major decisions usually after consulting some of the other older members of the tribe. Periodically, every few years, the chief meets with the other chiefs of the Benteak-Kune to discuss wider matters and act as one of the overall tribal elders to pass judgment on matters brought to them.

Tribal Relations: The Kohol'evin are in close alliance with the other tribes of the Benteak-Kune, and rarely do conflicts within this confederation come to blows. They all see themselves quite literally as brothers and sisters. In the same vein, whenever an outside force threatens one of the Benteak-Kune, all of the tribes in the confederation are sure to come to aide.
Among the tribes of the confederation, the Kohol'evin are the chief suppliers of the blue wode dye used in so many rituals and battles by the Benteak-Kune. Ra-Ghul is often depicted wearing wode. Their position as suppliers of the material is because the herbs and rocks that are used in making the dye grow plentifully in the areas roamed by the tribe.
Aside from natural disasters and occasional wars with tribes outside the Benteak-Kune, the Kohol'evin only occasionally encounter outside threats. Generally, their biggest threats are natural disasters, because they often choose to make camp in protected valleys that are difficult for outsiders to reach.

Attitudes & Personalities: Despite the well-defined system of leadership in the Blue Rock tribe, individuals are generally not concerned with large-scale matters such as government on the whole. Elders and great warriors are given respect, but not reverence. The tribe is, after all, mostly chaotic in alignment, which means it tends to favor looser organization and less interference from strict codes in daily life. Most of the time, members of the tribe care for their families by going out to hunt game or go fishing in the lakes and rivers in small groups. Often, these tasks fall to the men of the tribe, but there are no strict codes prohibiting females from doing so also. The deciding factor is more about who can withstand the rigors of the expeditions, on an individual basis.

When outside forces threaten the tribe, the people tend to pull together a bit more closely, but only to gain the kinds of numbers that make swarming techniques more viable. The Blue Rock tribe has no formal army or system of military rank. Instead, the members of the tribe simply band together when necessary, and employ the fighting techniques passed down from Ra-Ghul long ago.

Known Traditions & Rituals:

Concealment of Weapons - Entering another person's dwelling with a concealed weapon is a grave offense. Whenever one enters the dwelling of another family, the visitor must stand immediately inside the door and hold up any weapons being carried for all in the dwelling to see. After this display, the visitor may replace the weapons in their sheaths/belts, and walk in.

The Salt Oath - Any visitor entering a home may be offered a pinch of salt by the owner of the dwelling. This signifies the owner's willingness to take the visitor as a guest in his or her house. Once the salt is eaten by the owner and visitor, they are bound by the Salt Oath and must do anything within reason to protect each other from harm during the visit.

Feeding Visitors - Whether or not salt has been shared, anyone entering a dwelling will immediately be offered something to eat and drink, and refusing is considered bad manners.

Wode - This is a blue skin dye with mild anesthetic and hallucinagenic properties that is often applied to warriors before battle. It is considered bad luck to apply wode indoors.

To the Blood - Harmless "bar fights" with no weapons can arise between members of the tribe, and they are considered just that, harmless. The fight ends when blood is drawn or someone goes unconscious. Drawing a weapon or fighting beyond first blood is considered rude.

The Great Meeting of The Benteak - Every 10th winter there is a meeting to commemorate the kinship of the tribes descending from Ra-Ghul. The focus of this meeting is warrior prowess and dedication to Ra-Ghul's methods of battle. This is a holiday for the next generation to come of age. All warriors who have undergone their tests of manhood within the last 10 years must seal their dedication to the tribes and to Ra-Ghul in tests of strength and might. The tests last for one week, and at the end, a champion from each tribe is declared. Those champions then compete in a final test to determine which tribe is to hold the leading position in the confederation for the next 10 years. The winning tribe earns the right to possess the Hammer of Creation, a mythic relic from ancient times that has been with the Benteak-Kune for nearly 100 generations.

The Council's Judgment - When there is a disagreement that calls for determining if someone committed a crime against the tribe, the alleged offender can be subjected to judgment by the "Council". The Council is actually the entire population of the tribe. In this ritual, the alleged offender is tied to the Testing Post, a 2ft diameter x 15ft high wooden post in the middle of the village. The person is also given a small leather shield to use in one hand, which is not tied to the post. Then, every member of the council has the right to take a swing at the offender with anything that may be handy nearby. Usually, the item is chosen based on how guilty the people think the offender is. A person who thinks the offender is definitely guilty may use a weapon. Someone who thinks the offender is innocent may throw mud, or hit them with a piece of cloth. The ritual ends when everyone gets a turn to swing. If the offender lives, innocence is proclaimed. Technically, the offender can ask for a Vision Quest in place of the Council's Judgment, but these quests are often more dangerous than Council.

The Telling - This ritual is used to record tribal history and also to determine the truth of a story that someone gives. The person telling the story is put in the middle of a circle of tribesmen, including the chief and shaman. After a series of chants and drum rhythms, a moment of silence is called, and the person is then told to tell the story from beginning to end. At the end of the story, the truth of it is determined by the shaman who receives the message from Ra-Ghul (i.e. Detect Lie). If the truth is told, the session ends. If the person lied, he or she may be subjected to the Council's Judgment.

The Ritual of Making Right - This ritual is used on anyone perceived to have gone against Ra-Ghul's teachings in a treasonous or disloyal manner. Particularly, it is used on shaman's who lose Ra-ghul's favor, in an effort to regain it, but not always. The petitioner is stripped naked and painted with wode and made to stand at the entrance to his or her dwelling. A long makeshift road from the dwelling to the Testing Post is cleared out and all the members of the tribe stand alongside the road, like watching a parade. Each tribe member is given a length of leather, no fatter than a shoe lace, and about 4ft long. When the horn blows, the petitioner must run as fast as possible from the tent to the Testing Post, while everyone along the road gets to swing leather strips at them like whips. If the petitioner passes out or dies in this process, they are not forgiven by Ra-Ghul. If the petitioner reaches the Testing Post, there are other shamans waiting there, along with the chief, to ask the petitioner to publicly confess and make atonement for the wrongs committed. If the petitioner refuses, he or she is beaten on the back of the knees with a staff, and asked again. This is repeated until the petitioner either confesses without any prompting, or goes unconscious. Anyone losing consciousness from this ordeal before confessing and atoning is left out in the wilderness alone with no food or clothing, to die.